Monday, December 31, 2012

Feliz Ano Nuevo!

          This week has been pretty crazy to say the least.  First things first though, it was so darn good to talk to you all.  I am glad to hear that all is well and all in all I was just glad to hear your voices. I was sure to tell Hna. Carla thank you so much but she said it was not a problem at all. She was happy she could help Elder Garcia and I out. I just love ya guys so much!!!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that you all have your two front teeth. (That, and I hope the Lakers lost!)
First things first, I'll answer the questions [from mom].  Cancun was pretty good and my part of the conference went pretty well. I only had two or three problems with my spanish and I only swore once... It was an accident though!!  It was good though and it was a good review of the things we learned from President. I think my teaching is improving but I still need to work on being patient and being comfortable with silence in the lessons. A lot of the time, I just want to keep talking but I need to wait and let the Spirit do some talking to me and most importantly the investigator. We weren't able to take a bus Thursday night though so the Zone leaders said we needed to take the one at 5 o'clock Friday morning. Can I just say it is absolutely awful waking up at 3 to go take a 2 hour bus ride? The night before we left it rained like crazy too so all our stuff got soaked.  Luckily, I haven’t had too much of a sleep hangover or whatever you want to call it, these last few days.  
As far as my New Years plans, we don't really have any. We're going to have district meeting as usual tonight but tonight the Elders from Tizimin will be coming to join us. Everyone is staying at my house tonight but we still have to go to bed at the same time. Everyone says that we'll wake up at midnight though because things get pretty crazy here. There are "muñecas" or mannequins outside of a lot of the houses and from what I hear, at 12 they're going to burn them. It's basically pants and a shirt stuffed with newspaper and the burning of the guy is supposed to symbolize the passing of the old year.... Something like that. It should be pretty good tonight to get together with all the missionaries though. It's always nice to have a couple more guys to talk with.
Tonight we have to be in our house right after District meeting, and then tomorrow we won't leave until about 4.  Things get a little tipsy here if you know what I mean. We have quite the wine bibbers that live next door to us.
The new youth program sounds so awesome! I really want to be a teacher of one of the classes when I get back. I was talking to our bishop a little bit about it and it seems like it will make the teachers work a little bit harder but most of all, help the youth. It should be pretty divine!
Things are still going really slow here as far as investigators that are actually fulfilling their commitments. I'm just trying to keep the faith and work hard though.  Hopefully we'll have a breakthrough soon.  I'm thinking we'll start cooking once all the holiday season dies down. We'll just keep working!
This is the last week of transfers so hopefully we'll be able to stay together one more transfer so I can finish training Elder G. All I can say is I've tried my hardest and done all I know to do so at the end of the day I can be happy I reckon.
Sorry this one isn't very long, but just know that I love you guys so much! Keep the wonderful letters/emails/prayers coming, they sure are so great!
 Much love from your man in the Yucatan, (yes, I made that up myself!)
Standing on the corner in.......Valladolid, Mexico
 Must be Christmas morning
Elders A, Jaussi and S. at conference in Cancun
   "La Zona" (the Zone) doing the "perdon" sign.  He's not sure why but it is popular for some reason.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hablando con Elder Jaussi

We were able to talk with our Elder Jaussi after a few attempts with a calling card on Christmas Day.  He was at a member's home and we were able to have a good visit.  He is doing well, still has very high expectations for himself and is doing his best to be a good missionary and trainer.  He told us how grateful he is for all of the letters and packages he has received.  Missionaries in the office have come to know him by name from the mail that comes through on its way to being sent on.  Missionaries who have never met Taylor have said, "So, you're the Elder Jaussi that gets all the mail."  Then they proceed to tell him that it won't always be like that and that after he is out for longer, the mail will decrease significantly.  Taylor asks that we not let that be the case and for everyone to keep on writing!  (Letters can be sent to Salt Lake to go in the pouch system, for free through DearElder.com or sent with an 85-cent stamp directly to the mission home.  Addresses and instructions are listed to the right.)
Taylor and his companion, Elder G., were headed back to Cancun last night for another training session for a couple of days.  This time around, he will be one of those doing the teaching and training for a small portion of the conference.  He told McKay and any other prospective missionaries that this training would be great to study in preparation for serving a full-time mission.
His brother, Sean, asked him what some of his favorite things are about the culture there.  Taylor said that he likes the Mayan influence (though he hasn't seen any of the Mayan ruins, etc.) and how some of the older people still speak Mayan and their children understand it too.  He likes how many people have a "store" of sorts in their living rooms where they can stop in and purchase a needed item very close to where they live or along the way as they are out working.  There isn't a lot of Christmas music played around the town or much decorating for the holidays and he has missed that.  The fact that the climate is so different makes this Christmas different as well.  He says it's really warm in the afternoon, but that it can get cool at night just because of the high humidity.
Transfers are January 6.  Elder Jaussi says he will most likely be staying in Valladolid at least another transfer to finish up the 12-week training course for his greenie companion, unless his mission president feels that there should be a change. 
It was great to hear his voice and have a chance to talk with him.  He still does well in English even though sometimes he has to think about the English words now.  We're sure that it will be even more difficult come Mother's Day.....only 5 more months to wait.
Here, Elder Jaussi's Dad holds a cell-phone up to the speaker phone so Sean and Caitlin can hear the call from their home in California...
The family gathered around the speaker phone chatting with their favorite missionary....

Monday, December 24, 2012

Feliz Navidad


Hola todos, here goes yet another weekly epistle from your favorite missionary.  This week has been pretty calm, even with all of the "fin del mundo" (end of the world) stuff going on the 21st.  I had a funny encounter with a guy from Poland on Thursday actually.  I was waiting in the ADO (bus station) for the other elders to arrive so we could buy tickets to Cancun (we're going to Cancun for ANOTHER conference) and this tall white guy walked towards me and sat down next to me.  I smiled at him, and gave him a wonderful "Buenos dias" because you can never be so sure if a white guy is actually from Mexico and will get offended if you speak English to him. Anyways, (NA) he began the conversation by asking me in accented-English if I was "like a missionary or somesing."  We began talking and it turns out he had never heard of the Mormons. He began to tell me that he was from Poland and was planning on going to Chichen Itza to see the end of the world "or some sort of happening...." After the "getting to know you's" I gave him and a couple other of his friends the lesson of the Restoration more or less, something which is actually kind of hard to give in English now... He would stop me every now and then and throw in a piece of his mind, all of which was quite whack to say the least.

They didn't seem too interested in the lesson but were definitely interested in arguing with me.  However, at one point the guy from Poland told me that he hoped to feel "some sort of energy" (yes, this guy was a little bit interesting) while he was at Chichen.  I asked him what that meant because I wanted to know what he was trying to get at and then he said, "I don't know, something like how I feel right now talking to you.  I feel really good" Talk about a shock!  I began to talk to him about the Holy Ghost and how he testifies to us when messages are true and that that was what he was feeling. He didn't seem too convinced though and went on talking about his "energy" he was hoping to find at Chichen.  He told me that if nothing happened at Chichen he would like to learn more so I gave him a pamphlet with the number of the missionaries in Cancun, where he is currently living.  Who knows what will happen with that guy but you never know right?  One thing is for sure, no such "happening" occurred here in the land of the Mayas.

Our zone leaders sure took advantage of the 21st and all the end of the world talk.  In the morning on the 21st, they called us and told us that we needed to stay inside the house all day because of all the hubbub going on.  That kinda got me worried because I wasn't too excited about the idea of studying all day and staying in the house, but not too worried. The thing that got me worried was when they then told us that if anyone dressed in black came to our house asking to come in, we shouldn't open the door. You best believe I was scurred (scared) when they said that!  They were joking though so there was no problem, just a little scare from this wimp. You all know how much I love scary movies!!! NOT

I'll probably tell you all more about this tomorrow but the conference that we had with president was really great.  He talked to us about teaching more with the spirit so that we could teach people and not just lessons.  This week I have been trying to use a lot of the things I learned at the conference.  At the beginning of the week it was really hard to be honest, but it has gotten better.  In fact, we had a lot of really cool experiences with something we call "inspired questions." (Anyone preparing to go on a mission should start studying about them, Chapter 10 of PMG talks about asking questions.)  Last night for example, we went with a reference and after the lesson we invited her to be baptized.  I felt like the lesson wasn't that great and I wasn't feeling like we should ask her to be baptized, but Elder G. went ahead and asked her.  After giving us an affirmative no, I started praying really hard to know what questions I should ask her.   I really don't remember what I asked her exactly but at the end of the lesson she said she would get baptized but wouldn't give us a date.  I left her with my signature "somos amigos" and the tense situation turned into one of love fo sho!  We'll see what happens with her, no, she's going to get baptized, but all in all those inspired questions are pretty darn useful.  Preach My Gospel talks about how the Savior used questions to teach better and I really like that way of teaching.  Sometimes, I find that the investigators know all of the things they should be doing and are excited to find out that what they should be living is the message that we're bringing.  If that makes sense....

And now to a more worldly story: yesterday we went with a member to give him a Book of Mormon because he wanted to give it to a friend. We talked to him for a bit and as we were starting to leave his 2 year old son Br. (SUCH a cutie, but don't worry too much Jentz!) brought us two little regalos (gifts) . They had us open them up, two new ties, and then told us that they hoped we had a great Christmas. Samuel, the dad (he's one of my favorites in the ward) then invited us to go eat with them tonight but because Elder G. is going to call his family tonight S. said he would just bring the food to our house.  I really wish I could hug some of these little kids and wives sometimes because giving them a hand shake to say thank you doesn't quite do it for me.  I was sure to give S. a big hug though, and he said "Elder Jaussi, me cae bien. Me recuerda de uno de mis compañeros." (no real direct translation—just that he likes him and that he reminds S. of one of his companions) Somos amigos (we’re friends), that's for sure. Maybe tomorrow I'll tell you more about him and his family.

Well my dear family and friends, I'm afraid that is it for today.  I'll send some more business e-mails off to Mom but that about does it for this week's epistle.  I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, but better yet a Feliz Navidad!  Let's all remember why we celebrate this time of year, and utilize the Atonement of Him who makes this time of year so special!!!  I testify to you all, as a representative of Jesus Christ, that the Atonement is real.  I honestly don't understand why or how it works, but one thing I do understand and that is that it does just that: it works.  Sure, I have SO MUCH work to do but only through Christ's atonement can I do all the things I'm able to do here on the mission.  Phil 4:13 all day baby.  If you're not using it, start using it! If you are using it, keep it that way!

God bless us, every one! 

Tiny Tay

But in all seriousness, Merry Christmas everybodies!! Or as a very cute little kid once said on home video "Mash Kapush!"

Con amor,

"Y hablamos de Cristo, nos regocijamos en Cristo, profetizamos de Cristo y escribimos segun nuestras profecias, para que nuestros hijos sepan a que fuente han de acudir para la remision de sus pecados." 2 Nefi 25:26  (
And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we bprophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.)
Elder Jaussi's companion, Elder G. from Mexico City.

Elder G, feeling a little bit cold while ironing this morning.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Better Late Than Never, I Suppose

It turns out that this Monday and Tuesday we had a meeting for all trainers, district and zone leaders in the mission and so I got to go to Cancun for that.  Elder A. (my district leader) and I went to that and our companions stayed here in Valladolid while we were in Cancun.  It was really good and I learned a lot to help me out with my teaching I think.  I hope to put it all in practice.  It's always hard to keep the fire going from those meetings when you go back to your areas. We'll see what we can do though!
Elders L., A., Jaussi, and G. in "el Centro," Valladolid, Mexico.
Elders C. and Jaussi at training conference in Cancun
Elders Jaussi, P, and G. - Training conference in Cancun

The picture with me with all the presents is quite the crazy story.  Friday night we had a ward party and we planned on going because a few investigators were going to be there but we had planned to only go for about a half hour to welcome them there, make them comfortable, and then get back to work.  Every time we were about to leave though, someone in the ward kept telling us that we had to wait because they wanted us to sing a song as part of the program.  I decided we could do that much and we decided to wait, but they never asked us to sing.... The whole party there was a table at the front of the room with a bunch of presents on it.  I was for sure it was to play white elephant which gave me one more reason to leave; we didn't bring any gifts!!  We didn't need to though... They were all for us!!  Talk about the biggest surprise ever.  Towards the end of the meeting, before the ward was going to go outside to eat the Bishop started talking to close the meeting.  He began to talk about "dos angelitos con nosotros" (two angels who are with us) who work really hard every day. I started to realize what was happening, but it got worse.  He then went on saying that these two people don't have their mom or dad, their brothers or their sisters, and they're "solitos" (alone) on Christmas.  That was when I started to have some big ganas de llorar.. (desire to cry) and I couldn't handle it any more.  I started crying because he just kept going on and on about the family that we didn't have with us but then he closed it all with saying some really nice things and telling us thank you for all we do. To cap it off, he said that all the gifts were for us!  It was quite the cool experience.  It made me feel less sad to be away from home for the first time during Christmas because I really feel like a couple people here are already family to me.  One of them, Hna. R. started to cry with me too because she went on the mission and she said she knew exactly how I felt. (She is the mom of N. and the wife of the ward mission leader.)  It turns out that one of the wards did that for her and her companion when she was on the mission and she wanted to do it for us so she started it all up.  It was a good night for sure, but even without all the gifts it was great. We're really starting to gain the confidence of the members I think because they're helping us more with references and all that good stuff.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nada....Otra Vez

This is the status of this week's communication from our beloved missionary in Mexico.......sigh.

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 10, 2012

No new photos to post but this is from the latest e-mail:


Ha sido una semana tan ocupada. Hemos trabajado tan duro y he (It has been a very busy week.  We have worked very hard and I have) found out that it is hard to change from writing to President in Spanish and then to you gringos like me.
This week we have been working a ton with the less actives. In our planners we used to have a key indicator of just how many lessons we had with them but now President added a column for how many attended church. Y ¿saben qué?  (You know what?) We had 9 less actives at church this week!!! That, along with 4 investigators made me pretty happy. The only problem is that our investigators don't have much desire to be baptized and A. is still having a rough situation with her papa. It's all good though, because I'll take what I can get.
I don't know if I told you guys this story but we were with A. and her family one night and we were about to start the lesson. Just before we started to sing the hymn I invited her dad to sing with us and this is what he said more or less, "Elder, nunca JAMÁS me invite a cantar, hablar, ni sentarme con uds. Uds pueden hablar con mi hija y hacer como quieran con ella pero nunca jamás hablaré con ustedes, ¿sale?" (Elder, never EVER invite me to sing, speak, sit down with you.  You can talk with my daughter and do what you want with her but never again will I speak with you.  Okay?) I was pretty shell shocked for a bit, but can you guess what I said? "Bueno. Todavia somos amigos, ¿verdad?" (Okay.  We’re still friends, right?) Ha!!! Killin’ him with love. I didn't say it in a sassy way though and he kinda softened a little bit and said, "Claro, pero no voy a hablar todavia" (Of course, but I’m still not going to talk) Oh well, one day we'll break through to him! We'll see what we end up doing as far as the baptism for A. though.
The hammock is treating me quite nicely and I've just about got the hang of it. It's still a little different and I would definitely prefer a bed but I'll just take the blessing of being able to sleep for now. The food is just fine, albeit a bit weird but I think I can beat McKay in a spicy food eating contest. Habanero is a pretty rough pepper. As far as the stress goes, it's still there but I'm afraid that Taylor Christian Jaussi would cease to be Taylor Christian Jaussi without stress. It's not too bad though and all systems are a go still.
This last Monday I received a ton of mail, all from the fam and it was all great!! All in all, thanks again everyone so much for the letters. I am still basically a greenie though, so let's not have this trend stop any time soon okay? Deal. (Oh! Mom- I got your Halloween letter finally and you told me about you wearing my Terrell Davis jersey. Way to go!!!! That is COMPLETELY all right and I am glad you could wear that baby with pride. Go Broncs!!!)
All in all, things are going just well here in Valladolid even though investigators sure are hard to come by. The good thing is though, at the end of the day I can feel good telling the Lord that I have done everything in my power. We're working really hard and being obedient which is all we can do really. I'm sure investigators will come, even if they happen to come for future elders here.
I hope all is well and I hope you are all blasting FM 100 Christmas music in memory of me. Man I miss good Christmas music. Sing your lungs out too during all the songs, ¿sale, vale? Muy bien!! (Okay?  Great!)
Con amor,

Elder Jaussi, Tay, T, Taylor

Sea feliz, sea Mormón

Monday, December 3, 2012

Training and Being Trained

 To say the least, this week has been pretty hectic. First off, before I forget, here is a tiny description of what the pictures are.

1- Elder V and I with the S. family.  Every male member of that family has been the bishop/is the bishop/or is a counselor in the bishopric.  Besides that point, they are one of my favorite families here in Valladolid. The bishop is the bomb.  He's seated to the right, sitting next to his wifey.

2-The baptism of Hna A.!!!!! We told her this Monday that it was Saturday or bust for her baptism (well kinda like that) and she said, "well let's get a move on then!"  The baptism was so powerful. She said she felt so good and you could really tell that whole day that she was so excited. She's the one that I started saying "somos amigos" to (We are friends) whenever she had a doubt or something like that, so she always says that to me now.  She's so great.
3- You'll have to tell G and G Jaussi that they basically made the missionary's version of Sport's Illustrated because they have front page on my agenda along with Nefi and Lehi. I don't know why, but I've been thinking about them a lot lately. Can you send me their email? I want to send them a short email this next week to let them know I'm thinking about them, and just because I get a kick out of Grandma's letters and Grandpa's jokes. Also, believe it or not, I really want to work on family history with them when I get back. There has been a lot of emphasis in that area here lately and I have to admit that I really want to do it more when I get back.  I really feel like I need to work on it more.  I started thinking of doing it when I thought about how cool it would be to do ALL the temple work for one of my ancestors.

 My new companion's name is Elder G. and he is from Mexico City too.  I had to take a bus to Merida and President gave us a capacitacion (interview) before we got our new companions. It was quite the crazy day for sure. The whole day I just kept wondering why me out of all the other missionaries there.  It definitely humbled me that's for sure.

He is pretty shy (a trending pattern with my companions) but he has plenty of energy and is really eager to learn everything in one second. (Very similar to me.) Every other second he's bumping into me saying something like "okay, what next elder, what next??"  Training is pretty great though because it has made me realize all of the things I have learned but also all the things that I need to sharpen up.  I don't know what the Lord was thinking when He gave me this assignment but I hope to find out soon.  Every day I feel crazy-overloaded but all I can do is just put my shoulder to the wheel and be obedient.
 This Sunday though I felt a huge amount of love for our ward.  I don't know why, but I just realized yesterday how much I love this ward.  Yesterday in sacrament meeting was the first time that I felt I should share my testimony so I did.    It was a really good meeting yesterday though and I feel like I learned a lot about God and how he works.  One of the things I was fasting for was to improve my relationship with God and just strengthen my testimony because "much fasting and prayer" is how Amulek said he did it. In Sunday School we were reading Mormon 9 and when someone read the verse where it says something like "I will show unto you the God of [Abraham] and all the things He has done"... Shoot I felt like the Spirit Brian-Urlacher-tackled me.  It made me realize that, yes I still have a ton to learn but God sure is great.  He has helped me more than I could have ever hoped for and I need to remember all the tender mercies rather than focus on the big tasks at hand. All in all, it was a great day yesterday because I felt another one of the tender mercies of the Lord.

I've decided that we're still going to visit A. and teach her but we won't talk about the subject of baptism for awhile.  I know baptism is a necessary covenant but at this point I just feel like we need to take it a little bit slower with the situation like it is.  For now, we'll just keep praying for Hno. T. to soften his heart a little bit.

This week, Elder G. and I are going to work like crazy with the members and hopefully the referencias (referrals) will start coming.  If not, it's okay because we're strengthening the members.  I think it says something like that in Mosiah 27:32 or 33, that they went about strengthening the members.  I want to be a missionary like those guys, so I'll keep working with the members just like President has asked us to do.

Thanks so much for fasting for me, I sure have felt that it has helped me a lot.  I love you guys more than everyone loves frijoles here, and don't you forget it!!  

Loves all around!!  Con amor, 


 ¡Sea feliz, sea mormón!

Elder Jaussi pretending to be the Heisman candidate...